One dead, many injured during opposition march in Dhaka

Dhaka, Dec 29: One person died and many people were injured as Bangladesh opposition supporters clashed with ruling party activists and law enforcers here Sunday.

Clashes erupted in parts of the capital as opposition supporters took to the streets to attend a march slated for Sunday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

An unidentified youth was found dead after clashes broke out between the opposition Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party men and law enforcers in Dhaka’s Malibagh district.

Dozens of people, including activists of Jamaat, a key ally of former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and cops, were injured in the clashes.

Tension also arose in Dhaka’s apex court premises as scores of lawyers, loyal to the main opposition party, took out a procession from the Supreme Court Bar Association building.

Anti-riot police used water cannons and sound grenades to disperse the lawyers at the main gate of the Supreme Court.

Clashes also erupted in Dhaka’s National Press Club area, which is very close to the apex court premises. Over a dozen journalists were injured.

Many people have been arrested following the clashes.

BNP supremo Khaleda Zia Tuesday urged people from all walks of life to join the march towards the capital Dhaka Sunday to put pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to scrap the parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan 5.

Dhaka Police did not give permission to BNP for the march.

Police put up barricades on both sides of the road leading to Khaleda Zia’s house since Saturday evening. Security was further beefed up Sunday morning in and around her house in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Gulshan.

Khaleda Zia was barred from attending the march.

All modes of transport bound for the capital stopped plying Saturday in an apparent move to keep opposition activists from carrying out their march.

The ruling Awami League party has vowed to resist the march and asked its activists to guard all entry points leading to Dhaka.

Law enforcers, including paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and ruling party supporters, have been searching Dhaka-bound people in all the eight major entry points of Dhaka.

BNP and its 17 allies have asked Hasina to bring back a non-party caretaker system, or else the opposition will not participate in the next election because it fears an election without a non-party caretaker government will not be free and fair.

IANS